For the second, we went with the white pizza, or bianca, which rounded out the order as it was topped with fontina, mozzarella, sottocenere and sage. What was amazing was that the trio of cheeses didn’t create a sloppy mess as three and four-cheese pizzas sometimes do; the delicate flavor of each came through with minimal greasiness. Even the sottocenere; a delicious cow’s milk cheese aged in ash as a way to preserve it. We also could’ve been happy just plucking off strips of salty fried sage on top.
But even before the parade of pizza masterpieces began, the antipasti deserved our attention, and although they were out of a few items, we did indulge in a shrimp, melon, chiles and chopped mint almost-ceviche which was just as amazing as it sounds with a Southeast Asian flair. Fat, juicy shrimp mixed in with large chunks of juicy melon, mint leaves and bits of chiles for spice. The other antipasti choice asparagus al forno with speck and Parmigiano-Reggiano. I noticed everywhere we went in Los Angeles the asparagus was out of control; not only because they were jumbo-sized, but incredibly fresh, impossibly green and perfectly cooked. These stalks were wrapped with paper-thin speck and covered with a generous shaving of Parm-Reg. Truly awesome.
We finished off with the ultra-creamy and delicious butterscotch budino with caramel sauce, flecks of Malden sea salt and rosemary pinenut cookies on the side, accompanied by a glass of Moscato. And as we left, tables still bustling, people still waiting to sit and pizzas still shuffling, we walked out and poked our heads into the neighboring Osteria, more high end, but the same wonderful Italian fare. 48 hours in LA is just not enough time to try everything! But I will be back to check the rest off my list. And OK, as promised, the Chi-town reporting continues next week. Pizzeria Mozza, 641 N. Highland, 323.297.0101